Mar 2019 | by Hiten Shah

SMEs & Branding: Getting Your Basics Right


While big brands are constantly innovating, new entrants with immense potential are emerging every day! Amidst this crowded marketplace, where each company is trying to seek the attention of their potential target audience, SMEs often find themselves to be helpless. Now, either they can sulk about it and do nothing, or make an attempt to differentiate themselves from the rest. The latter, in this case, is likely to fetch better results.

First things first - what does branding really mean? How is it different from the other buzzwords - marketing, sales, and advertising? Ever so often, the so-called marketeers use these buzzwords interchangeably and reduce its meaning and impact, bringing it down to zilch. Let’s understand what these terms individually mean, and how they are different from one another.

Let's understand what these terms individually mean, and how they are different from one another.

If you're not the one for bookish knowledge (even though it is important - well, most times), then have a look at the below picture to get an easy understanding of the subject matter.

Many fail to understand this, but branding goes above and beyond the company logo. Right from the look and feel of a brand's advertisement, to its customer service support - all of these contribute to building a perception in the minds of your consumer and are likely to determine whether or not to purchase commodities from your company. Consumer perception remains the chief influencer and driving force to almost all purchase decisions made by them or their near and dear ones. It’s time we dive into why SMEs should consider investing in a brand building exercise.

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to brand building. It is important to understand and evaluate before you ideate and implement. The important question here could be: what does one have to understand and evaluate? Understand your core values, define what you actually do for your potential audience and evaluate how you can do it in a better way than your competitors. Use the outcomes of this thought process to better define the platforms of promotions, and build a brand environment that is compelling. Relevant ideas, when pushed into the right direction and momentum, can make all the difference.

Commitment to organizational aspirations, clarity of short-term and long-term goals, along with consistency in communication can establish strong brand-to-market relationships. When it comes to brand building, there’s no race. Don’t go too fast, nor too slow - just strive to match pace with your potential audience, and profits will follow.

Are you still living in the by-gone era where time-bound business plans and approaches to promoting a business focused on advertising, and not engagement? Today, we live in times where brand planning is more important than your business plan. If people don't know who you are and what you represent, they won't do business with you. Brand building is a process, and nothing can be achieved overnight. So, take one step at a time, watch your pace, and brace yourself for the way forward.

"Brand is the sum total of how someone perceives the brand.
Branding is about shaping that perception."